EA: 'Time limit' on online pass for 'a few titles'

Though EA has yet to respond to our inquires, the company did offer some explanation for expiring Online Passes in select titles available in stores.


[Update] An EA spokesperson has told Shacknews that this report was incorrect. Here's the company's official comment on the expiring online pass situation.

On Friday, Shacknews reported some users were experiencing issues redeeming the one-use 'Online Pass' code included in select EA games to unlock multiplayer features. Though EA has yet to respond to our inquires, the company did offer some explanation for the situation.

Essentially, EA states that "a few titles will have a time limit on their use, even for new purchases."

EA detailed its policy on Online Passes to Joystiq over the weekend. According to EA, "as a rule, no Online Pass should expire," meaning that the functionality unlocked with the one-use code won't turn off over time, which is a situation that was never in question.

The report cites Dragon Age 2 as one title that has an expiring Online Pass, which will cease to work on March 12, 2012, according to EA's 'End User License Agreement' description website. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit--the actual game in question from the original report--makes note of no expiration date for the pass [NFSHP EULA PDF].

EA MMA appears to have removed the restriction for Online Passes, according to our testing. Medal of Honor, however, still requires a pass to play online. Medal of Honor's EULA description makes no mention of expiring codes. EA's 'Terms of Service' makes no mention of the publisher's ability to cancel codes at any time; however it notes it can terminate online services within 30 days of announcing it on its status page. As it stands, there is no explanation for the expiration of online passes for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit or Medal of Honor.

Shacknews has once again contacted EA for comment, but has yet to hear back at the time of publishing.

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
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    December 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, EA: 'Time limit' on online pass for 'a few titles'.

    Though EA has yet to respond to our inquires, the company did offer some explanation for expiring Online Passes in select titles available in stores.

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      December 5, 2011 3:40 PM

      if anyone defends this then just fucking lmao

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      December 5, 2011 3:42 PM

      and sadly these "online passes" are becoming the norm.
      I fucking hate them.

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      December 5, 2011 3:44 PM

      Wow that's shitty. It almost feels like a bait and switch situation. See multiplayer and online features advertised on the box, then get home and realize you have to pay an additional $10 even though you just bought a new copy.

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        December 5, 2011 3:52 PM


        Actually, not that this situation is any less shitty, but could this be EA's next target: punishing people who wait for a game to go into the cheap bin?

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          December 5, 2011 4:07 PM

          Still can't punish people that aren't buying your games though!

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      December 5, 2011 4:06 PM

      Well, at this point they're selling games with online passes that are expired/invalid out of the box. I just bought Hot Pursuit PS3 directly from them (Origin.com) and the online pass code was invalid. Wasted an hour chatting with their customer support yesterday. They provided me with 3 or 4 additional codes, none of which worked.

      I made a post on the official NFS:HP forums earlier today. Still waiting to get this resolved. :/

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        December 5, 2011 5:44 PM

        enjoy your banned ea/origin account bro

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      December 5, 2011 4:13 PM

      Why do you guys still buy EA games? Are their games THAT good that you have to put up with so many shitty issues around them?

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        December 5, 2011 6:56 PM

        The reality is that the vast majority do not follow gaming news.

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      December 5, 2011 4:17 PM

      They're almost certainly making another Need for Speed and another Medal of Honor, so this is a convenient way of easing the EA.com multiplayer server shutdown.

      Welcome to "games as a service, shoehorned into a boxed goods distribution method".

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      December 5, 2011 6:02 PM


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      December 5, 2011 7:02 PM

      Oh for FUCKS sake, EA. You were doing so well for a few years there, now you're just diving right back into the shit bin. This is a fucking outrage.

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        December 5, 2011 8:02 PM

        Check the update. Looks like this whole thing may have been wrong.

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